Junior dos Santos defends heavyweight crown at UFC 146
By: Matt Marcone
It often only takes one punch in the heavyweight division.
Such was the case at UFC 146 where ten heavyweights took over the main card and put on a stellar show. None of these bouts would make it to the third round.
The main event saw Junior “Cigano” dos Santos defend his heavyweight title by using excellent takedown defense and superior boxing.
After rocking Frank Mir with a thunderous right hand and a flurry of punches at the end of round one, Mir was asked by a commissioner in between rounds if he knew where he was.
“Yes sir, Mandalay Bay [in] Vegas, May 26,” Mir said.
Mir was actually fighting at the MGM Grand Garden. They must have figured it was close enough.
The second round picked up where the first left off as dos Santos finished the challenger at 3:04 of round two, making his first successful title defense and extending his unbeaten UFC streak to nine.
The champion’s next challenger emerged in the co-main event. Cain Velasquez completely dominated Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in one of the bloodiest fights in recent memory.
Silva threw a low kick to open the fight that was caught by Velasquez, who promptly dumped Silva on his back and later landed some vicious short elbows.
The result looked like a horror movie with the octagon covered in pools of blood. It was a very serious statement sent from the former champion to the rest of the heavyweight division. UFC President Dana White confirmed Velasquez earned a rematch with dos Santos following his first round TKO of Silva.
Roy Nelson and Dan Hardy were both given knockout of the night and $70,000 bonuses. Nelson knocked out Dave Herman just 51 seconds into the fight and Hardy landed a punch and elbows to knock out Duane Ludwig at 3:51 of round one.
Hardy won his first four UFC fights on route to a title shot against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 111. He then lost four in a row only to come back with a vengeance Saturday night, justifying the UFC’s choice not to cut him.
Two undefeated heavyweights Stipe Miocic and Shane Del Rosario fought a very competitive fight with Miocic ultimately prevailing via elbows at 3:14 of round two. Del Rosario did an excellent job landing devastating leg and body kicks but the ground and pound of Miocic ended up being the difference.
The last main card fight saw Stefan Struve submit Lavar Johnson with a very tight armbar at 1:05 of the first round. He shares the submission of the night with Britain’s Paul Sass, who stunned respected contender Jacob Volkmann with a triangle armbar.
The prelims also delivered some entertaining action with Jamie Varner, Mike Brown, and C.B. Dollaway all reigning supreme. Next stop for the UFC is the Ultimate Fighter Season 15 finale where Martin Kampmann battles Jake Ellenberger in the welterweight division.